By Jayla Jackson, MTSU News
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — MTSU's WMTS-FM 88.3 student radio station is saying its good-byes to its general manager as she embarks on her new journey of becoming a television host.
WMTS listeners are used to hearing the sounds of senior media management major Ebon'e Merrimon's radio show “Deep Soul,” but she has left the airwaves in order to focus her attention toward her new “Deep Soul” television series.
The show normally airs at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday nights on the local Murfreesboro station MT10, a student-run television station that streams live via UStream and broadcasts in Rutherford County on Comcast channel 10.
If you miss out on an episode when it originally airs, head over to Merrimon’s YouTube channel at http://bit.ly/2na2II7. Watch one of the episodes with R&B music artist Caleb Minter at http://bit.ly/2BumQaX.
Merrimon made history earlier this year when she became WMTS's first female African-American general manager in the spring. For nearly three years the Nashville native called the station her second home, but she’s now taking a crack at television.
"When it comes to Deep Soul, I see an entire movement happening and I can see so much with this," said Merrimon, adding that her mission with the new TV series is to present a diverse line-up with a flavorful twist.
"I want people to understand that Deep Soul is about what you feel, which is the foundation of music," she said.
Merrimon is no stranger to producing entertainment content for a wide variety of viewers with the work she does for Cumulus Media, the second largest operator of AM and FM radio stations in the United States.
"I technically work for six radio stations as a promotion associate where I've been able to do commercials, blogs and so much more with this opportunity," she said.
Media continues to expand across a spectrum of platforms, allowing students the opportunity to translate their communication skills. Those deeply rooted in mass media, including Val Hoeppner, believe that video is an entry point to creating appealing content.
"Radio stations are like everybody else, they're seeking younger audiences," said Hoeppner, executive director of WMOT-FM Roots Radio, MTSU's 100,000-watt radio station known for its Americana music format. She notes one of the biggest aspects keeping their audience engaged is the monthly online streaming the station provides.
"It's a livestream video program called 'Wired In' … one of the significant pieces to it is that it's video and has helped us cultivate a national audience," she said.
Hoeppner is also director for the Center for Innovation in Media, which houses student media within MTSU's College of Media and Entertainment. The collaboration within the center provides aspiring journalists the necessary tools in becoming versatile storytellers, she said.
"The ingredients are you have to be compelling but still follow the rules of video and have good audio — or people are out,” said Hoeppner. "I think if you have compelling video and tell a good story people are going to stay there."